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Investment Banking To Financial Analyst | 5 Top Finance Jobs For Business School Grads

A Master in Finance can equip you with a specialized skill set to launch a top career in finance. Here are five jobs you could land in 2024


Tue May 14 2024

The financial industry is competitive and ever-evolving. With a Master in Finance, you’ll develop a set of hard and soft skills to lay the groundwork for a thriving career.

Offering a broad perspective of the industry with ample opportunity to gain specialized knowledge and practical experience, a Master in Finance opens doors to a variety of career paths in finance.

Here are the top five finance jobs for Master in Finance graduates:

1. Investment Banker

Investment banking is one of the most sought-after job titles for recent MSF graduates, and for good reason. 

The role involves financial advising for corporations, governments, and other organizations, helping them raise capital, assisting in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and managing complex financial transactions.

At the Villanova School of Business in Pennsylvania, students in the 11-month Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program can choose electives that align with their future career goals, including Portfolio Management, Investment Banking, and Commercial Real Estate Investment.

The MSF program at Villanova equips students with advanced analytical skills, in-depth knowledge of financial theories, and opportunities to tackle business problems facing financial institutions and markets—all desirable skills by top investment banks such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.

The career has great earning potential, with an average base salary in the United States at $188k, and an average additional cash compensation of $72k—making this the highest-earner on this list.

2. Financial Analyst

Financial analysts assess the financial performance of companies and industries, providing insights and recommendations to investors, managers, and other key decision makers.

The world of financial analysis is dynamic but demanding, so top firms recruit graduates who have developed the necessary knowledge and skills during their studies. A Master of Science in Finance equips students with strong mathematical and analytical skills and a deep understanding of financial markets.

As a time-intensive role with a lot of responsibility, the average salary of a financial analyst in the US is around $101k, with an average additional compensation of just under $16k.

3. Equity Research Analyst

Unlike the broader scope of a financial analyst, equity research analysts are financial experts who focus on a small group of companies within a particular industry. Financial analysts analyze data trends and make stock recommendations for investors on either the buy-side or the sell-side.

A strong quantitative and statistical background is essential, which is why future equity research analysts benefit from the quantitative and financial modeling training in an MSF program.

The career path is lucrative but demanding, with an average workweek in early years often requiring upwards of 80 hours per week. The hard work does not come without reward, however, with salaries averaging $146k per year in the US, and an average additional cash compensation of $40k, according to data from Glassdoor.

4. Valuation Analyst

The role of a valuation analyst is to determine the market value of assets, businesses, or securities using financial models and market data.

Graduates from the MSF program at Villanova come prepared for this career path with valuation techniques, skills in data analytics, valuation and advisory, as well as practical experience in valuation and quantitative performance attribution.

According to Glassdoor, valuation analysts in the US typically earn an average salary of $107k with an additional average cash compensation of $20k.

5. Portfolio Analyst

Becoming a portfolio analyst is a steppingstone to a successful career as a portfolio manager. The responsibilities of a portfolio analyst are primarily to assist in the research for and maintenance of investment portfolios for investment firms.

Recent graduates from the Villanova MSF program are already well-prepared for careers in portfolio management due to specialized courses within the program. Beyond financial theory, candidates put their financial skills into practice by actively managing real-dollar investment portfolios, exploring different investment approaches, and participating in live portfolio management—all while honing their skills in quantitative analysis.

This competitive career path is not without compensation, with an average income of $97k in the US, and an average additional cash compensation of $17k.

The potential career outcomes of a Master in Finance don’t stop here. No matter what part of the financial sector you want to break into, a rigorous financial background can help prepare you to adapt to a challenging but rewarding industry.

Student Reviews

Villanova School of Business




On Campus

Socio-economically homogenous

I graduated in the late 80s and I'm sure a few more National championships have changed things, however while the education I received was above average (English major), the social circumstances were difficult, as the "Main Line" mentality of privilege (and driving the right car, wearing the right clothes) was intense.